Short Story #4 – The Decision

This weeks’ prompt was: “Write a scene or a story in which a character is dealing with an approaching deadline – is it a personal or work deadline? What obstacles do they need to overcome to meet the deadline?” I had fun with this one. Tried to put myself back in my teen years and write from a non-adult perspective. I hope you enjoy!

They needed an answer by 5pm. I’d had two weeks to decide. I’d stalled the University and my parents long enough. This opportunity was perfect, right? Well, perfect for what my family envisioned. They “knew” of who I was – planned, even keeled, calm – but I felt none of those things right now. All my life I’d been told that I was brilliant, that I would go far and do great things. But those “great things” really only consisted of one thing – go to Marquette, follow my fathers footsteps, complete my mother’s dreams, become a lawyer. But deep down inside, that’s not what I wanted. I know when they got pregnant with me their freshman year of school that mom was forced by her parents to dropout, no way in hell were they going to invest in something that she could NEVER finish with a baby. And mom definitely could not afford the tuition on her own – no, no one explained the FAFSA to her – grandma had taken care of all of that the first time around. And now with both her parents not talking to her, how could she even ask for their help filing the FAFSA a second time? Anyway, she dropped out. She married my dad in the Milwaukee courthouse on June 1st, before she even started showing. So now, in my mom’s mind, it was up to me to show her whole family what I, and in turn what she, was really made of. But if anyone had cared to ask, or really if they had been paying any attention the past few years, they would know while I could do the lawyer thing, what I really wanted was Broadway. I’d connected with a new off-broadway theatre on TikTok. At first it was just a few likes, then a follow, then a direct message which turned into an email exchange, and eventually a “conversation” – it was really an interview – on zoom. They liked my skits and my singing voice. If I wanted a spot for the fall season, it was mine. I know there were too many unanswered questions to make my parents feel comfortable – How would I get there? Where would I live? How would I survive off a measly $500 every two weeks? – I didn’t know the answers to any of these questions. But I was willing to risk it and try. I owed it to myself, and really if they told me no, weren’t they limiting me, just like my grandparents had limited her?

“Sam! Dinner’s ready.”

“Okay!”

As I walked down the stairs, I heard her say to dad “Ooo, we need to call the admissions counselor first to tell them Sam’s decision.”

I knew what I needed to do.

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